Sunday, 19 July 2015

Will Delph’s arrival see…

…a City exit for either of the ‘Ferns’?

Regular readers know my opinion of our Brazilian midfielder with the slightly longer name than his midfield colleague and countryman; and in a blog-posting on 25th May 2015 I gave my opinion on the two ‘Ferns’, which was one of-being largely underwhelmed so far.

If either ARE to go, which one?

Well putting my personal disenchantment with Fernandinho in particular aside – trying to look at both players objectively – Fernandinho is the older of the two by two years and a couple of months. Also in the negative column for the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk player is that he’s been with us now since July 1st 2013 and has just less than 2 years remaining on his current deal.

In contrast, Fernando joined us just last July and has another 4 years remaining on his contract and may also, crucially, be given the benefit of the doubt; following a below-par season from ‘The Octopus’ that was [also crucially] interrupted by injury…as well as a ‘settling in period’ allowance factor.

In addition to those arguments that appear to be weighing heavily in favour of the ex-Porto player already; you have to ask whether the following list of players would be enough to carry us through a long campaign without one of them?

Main list:

Fabian Delph                                       -           Defensive / Central midfielder

Samir Nasri                                         -           Mid / Winger – Left / Right / Centre

David Silva                                          -           Mid / Winger – Left / Right / Centre

Yaya Toure                                         -           Central / Attacking midfielder

(Kevin De Bruyne or Paul Pogba?)     -          Central / Left-sided midfielder(s)

Fernando                                             -           Defensive midfielder

Fernandinho                                        -           Defensive / Central midfielder

Well I would say that if we were indeed to bring in De Bruyne, Pogba or A.N. Other midfielder in the coming weeks - and by 6pm (BST) on 1st September 2015 - then we’d definitely have scope to ship one of those Brazilians out; particularly when you also chuck into the mix Jesus Navas (Right winger), Raheem Sterling (Right winger / Forward) and quite possibly Marcos Lopes (Midfielder / Winger – Left / Right / Centre), along with young hopefuls Bruno Zuculini (Central Midfielder), Brandon Barker (Winger / Forward – Left) and Manu Garcia (Central / Attacking midfielder).

I say all of that also on the understanding that Samir’s end-of-season ‘weirdness’ is now behind him and that he’ll be seeing out another year, at least, of his ‘remaining 4’.

My gut feeling is, however, that if at all possible - even with F(not-so)FP and the home-grown / English quota rules forever looming large overheadManuel Pellegrini would like to keep all of the main list players, at least, available in his squad for both domestic and European ventures.

However, if one of them is indeed to fall victim of one of those 'pesky rules' then I believe Fernandinho’s time at Manchester City may well be coming to a close. I’d wish him well [if]…but I wouldn’t be crying in my beer for the £28M+ man.


Raheem Sterling

One of the reasons I’ve not posted a blog-entry for a whole 18 days is the sheer number of opinionated merry-go-round comments and utter rage surrounding both Raheem Sterling & Fabian Delph. The last thing anyone needed while it was in ‘full flow’, I thought, was another article ‘out there’.

I did almost, however, produce a ‘Fabian has signed’ article when I heard that he was having his (first) medical but didn’t even get chance to ‘put pen to paper’ before it was seemingly all “off” as quick as it was “on”!

I don’t think it’s over by any stretch - and will certainly loom large again when we play Aston Villa & Liverpool at least 4 times between them next season (and you can bet we’ll draw one of them at least once in a ‘cup comp’) – but the storm is now passing and the dust is STARTING, at least, to settle.

And so…

  • Is Raheem too expensive? Yes…by about £15M I’d say.
  • Did the player conduct himself in a bad manner? Well…assuming he was genuinely ill when he couldn’t join his Liverpool colleagues abroad on the same day then I can’t see what he’s done or said wrong. He’s joined a better team with better players with a better chance of winning trophies in the coming years with just 2 years remaining on his current deal; and having given Liverpool 3 years, 95 appearances, 18 goals and several assists.
  • Did Raheem’s agent conduct himself in a bad manner? Well I haven’t heard anything particularly nasty but, I suppose, it could have been handled a lot quicker and perhaps, therefore, slightly less publicly? But if either of them are at fault then Liverpool are equally to blame. Brendon Rodgers has, however, had nothing but nice things to say about Raheem since the move and so I don’t think there’s anything else to get in a sweat over.
  • Have City done anything wrong in the Raheem deal? Apart from being ‘held to’ and paying the ‘English mark-up ransom’, then no.
  • Did Fabian Delph conduct himself in a bad manner? I’d have to say yes. I personally can’t wait for an explanation (if it ever comes) of the apparent double turn-around and I have to believe (I didn’t read myself) also all those who read his comments following his first ‘about turn’; that he wanted to remain loyal to Aston Villa…before then-signing for City just 5 days later! Weird…
  • Have Aston Villa conducted themselves in the right manner? Well if I was an Aston Villa fan I’d be FURIOUS at the ridiculous low release-clause-figure inserted (by someone) into Fabian’s new, 4-½ year contract just last January! Other than that, no; they’ve honoured that crazy release clause.
  • Have City done anything wrong in the Fabian deal? No.

Fabian Delph
Apart for the understandably livid Aston Villa fans it makes me wonder, then, just why I’ve been listening to and reading ‘blue murder’ from fans, radio presenters and so-called pundits over the last few weeks…not to mention the vile, so-called Liverpool “fans” who allegedly dispensed on-line abuse & threats to Raheem and his family.

Will both players improve us? Yes, I’d say so. Will both players, like James Milner, improve year on year on year with Manchester City? Yes, I’d say so.

Is Raheem Sterling a bargain? In the short term, no. In the long term, however, I’m confident we’ll look back in 3-years time and say what a terrific asset he’s turn out to be and, therefore, yes.

Is Fabian Delph a bargain? Oh yes…oh VERY yes (well-done Txiki & Co!)

Continuing the "English theme" - Patrick Roberts
 I wonder if they'll be similar, media 'nuclear fall out' following our recent signing of Patrick Roberts from Fulham? The young, strong-left-footed right winger's fee is "undisclosed" but articles last week suggested that any fee would, in time, likely rise to around £10M for the very promising English 18-year old.

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